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Structure of attention and the logic of visual composition.

Wright KB, Bafna S - Behav Sci (Basel) (2014)

Bottom Line: The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task.However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades.We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 247 4th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30030, USA; E-Mail: sonit.bafna@coa.gatech.edu.

ABSTRACT
Two groups of subjects were presented with two façade designs, one with the front façade of the existing Atlanta Public Library, an exercise in modern abstract plastic composition by the Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer, and the other with alteration that toned down its plasticity and enhanced simple relations of its parts like symmetry and repetition. The subjects were asked to recall and copy the façades. The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task. However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades. We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it. The broader implication of this point is to see the visual design of buildings not as simple means to increase its aesthetic value, but as a sophisticated means to lead the viewer to specific forms of imaginative engagement.

No MeSH data available.


(Alt.) Matched Pairs Comparison on Copy Exercise: Reproductions in Original versus Altered Drawings grouped by Plastic Values (Ambiguous Excluded).
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behavsci-04-00226-f006: (Alt.) Matched Pairs Comparison on Copy Exercise: Reproductions in Original versus Altered Drawings grouped by Plastic Values (Ambiguous Excluded).

Mentions: Finer analysis of the data revealed more interesting findings regarding our subsidiary hypotheses. We had expected the altered composition to lose some of the original’s plastic quality—in terms of our data, this would imply that the subjects given the original façade would report elements related to depth perception in greater numbers, and they would report elements on the periphery of the façade in greater numbers, indicating a more varied and multi-focal attentional span. This turned out to be partially validated by the results obtained in the copying exercise. Grouping the data by elements recording attentional focus, and running a matched pair analysis, we found that peripheral elements were recorded in greater numbers for the original design, and the central ones for the altered one, and the differences between them were significant (Table 2a and Figure 5a). Grouping elements by plastic values, the differences in either the surface or the depth elements between the altered and original drawings were not significant, though the expected bias towards the depth elements in the original drawing did show up (Table 2b and Figure 5b). However, ambiguous elements were recorded in significantly greater numbers overall, in both drawings, as compared to the surface and depth elements (Across group comparisons table for Plastic Values, Mean Mean column, Table 2a and Figure 5a). When we excluded these ambiguously plastic elements from the data, and ran the matched pair analysis on elements grouped only into surface and depth qualities, we found that the differences between the mean differences recorded for the depth and surface elements was both significant and in the right direction—subjects recalled elements with depth cues in greater numbers in the original design as compared to the altered one (Table 3, Table 4, and Figure 6).


Structure of attention and the logic of visual composition.

Wright KB, Bafna S - Behav Sci (Basel) (2014)

(Alt.) Matched Pairs Comparison on Copy Exercise: Reproductions in Original versus Altered Drawings grouped by Plastic Values (Ambiguous Excluded).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4219270&req=5

behavsci-04-00226-f006: (Alt.) Matched Pairs Comparison on Copy Exercise: Reproductions in Original versus Altered Drawings grouped by Plastic Values (Ambiguous Excluded).
Mentions: Finer analysis of the data revealed more interesting findings regarding our subsidiary hypotheses. We had expected the altered composition to lose some of the original’s plastic quality—in terms of our data, this would imply that the subjects given the original façade would report elements related to depth perception in greater numbers, and they would report elements on the periphery of the façade in greater numbers, indicating a more varied and multi-focal attentional span. This turned out to be partially validated by the results obtained in the copying exercise. Grouping the data by elements recording attentional focus, and running a matched pair analysis, we found that peripheral elements were recorded in greater numbers for the original design, and the central ones for the altered one, and the differences between them were significant (Table 2a and Figure 5a). Grouping elements by plastic values, the differences in either the surface or the depth elements between the altered and original drawings were not significant, though the expected bias towards the depth elements in the original drawing did show up (Table 2b and Figure 5b). However, ambiguous elements were recorded in significantly greater numbers overall, in both drawings, as compared to the surface and depth elements (Across group comparisons table for Plastic Values, Mean Mean column, Table 2a and Figure 5a). When we excluded these ambiguously plastic elements from the data, and ran the matched pair analysis on elements grouped only into surface and depth qualities, we found that the differences between the mean differences recorded for the depth and surface elements was both significant and in the right direction—subjects recalled elements with depth cues in greater numbers in the original design as compared to the altered one (Table 3, Table 4, and Figure 6).

Bottom Line: The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task.However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades.We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, 247 4th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30030, USA; E-Mail: sonit.bafna@coa.gatech.edu.

ABSTRACT
Two groups of subjects were presented with two façade designs, one with the front façade of the existing Atlanta Public Library, an exercise in modern abstract plastic composition by the Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer, and the other with alteration that toned down its plasticity and enhanced simple relations of its parts like symmetry and repetition. The subjects were asked to recall and copy the façades. The results showed that while significantly more students recalled elements of the altered façade, the performance was equivocal for the façades for the copying task. However, the copying task showed the subjects making greater errors in reproducing elements and relations on the periphery, and those that reflect a reading of depth in the façades. We present an account of the experiment, making the case that the results show the influence of visual design of the façade on the way that an interested and involved viewer attends to it in the course of parsing and comprehending it. The broader implication of this point is to see the visual design of buildings not as simple means to increase its aesthetic value, but as a sophisticated means to lead the viewer to specific forms of imaginative engagement.

No MeSH data available.